November 26, 2023

Indiana Chief Justice: State must examine future of legal profession amid attorney shortage

Article origination IPB News
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush was recently named to a national commission on legal education reform. - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush was recently named to a national commission on legal education reform.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush said she’s convening a group to study the future of the legal profession.

That’s as Indiana — like many states — faces an attorney shortage.

State court leaders say younger attorneys aren’t replacing older ones, particularly in rural areas. And the Indiana Supreme Court’s latest annual report shows that the bar passage rate declined in the last fiscal year — 63 percent, down from 71 percent just two years ago, which was an open book test, to adjust for the pandemic.

Rush said she was recently named to a national commission on legal education reform. And she noted that Oregon will no longer require the bar exam to practice.

“We have to look at that,” Rush said. “I mean, we’re responsible for quality. We want to make sure, when somebody goes into an attorney’s office, that they’re going to get quality representation.”

Rush said Indiana should also study other states when it comes to issues beyond just legal education.

“With regard to limited license attorneys, licensed paralegals, non-lawyer ownership of law firms,” Rush said.

Rush indicated that there will likely be no single solution to the ongoing challenge.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Copyright 2023 IPB News. To see more, visit IPB News.
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